Darnum residents now have convenient access to an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) thanks to a grant from the Trafalgar branch of the Bendigo Community Bank.
The Darnum Progress association was instrumental in facilitating the grant and last Tuesday with the help of Ambulance Victoria it held a training session for residents on the operation of the unit.
Ambulance Victoria’s Community Support Co-ordinator for Baw Baw, Ross Salethial and fellow paramedic and surf lifesaver Mitch James were on hand at the Darnum Tea Rooms to provide training to interested locals on CPR and the correct use of the AED.
AEDs check a patient’s heart and if required provide a shock to restore normal rhythm. AEDs have been shown to significantly improve the outcomes for people suffering cardiac arrest. Every 1-minute delay to effective CPR and defibrillation can lead to a 10% reduction in the chance of patient survival.
Ambulance Victoria has been working with community groups and stakeholders across Baw Baw to ensure 24/7 access to AEDs across the shire. So far, these partnerships have led to the installation of AEDs in Neerim South, Noojee, Neerim Junction, Jindivick, Buln Buln, Rokeby, Willow Grove and Erica.
Darnum Progress Association member Rhonda Deppeler had noticed the AED units in other parts of the shire. After approaching the Bendigo Bank, the Progress Association were able to secure funding for the unit and a cabinet to house it in. The Trafalgar Men’s shed generously donated their time to install the AED at the front of the Darnum Post Office.
Secretary of the Progress Association Irene Broadbent paid tribute to the parties who worked to achieve the outcome. “The unit is there 24/7 should anyone ever need to access it in an emergency”
Mrs Broadbent added, “Having the AED available is one thing but being comfortable to use it is also highly important”. While AEDs are designed so anyone can use them in an emergency, having an awareness of what to do is proven to be of benefit.”
Community groups can contact Ambulance Victoria if they would like to discuss an AED for their area.